Weekend Wrapup

Memorial Day is usually a three day weekend, but this year I managed to make it four.


I took a vacation day on Friday to help chaperone my daughter’s gifted class’s trip to the Smithsonian Insitute in Washington, DC. After some pre-trip jitters from my daughter, we made our way to the museum and had a great day. The only downside was that the return trip, which should only take about two hours took five hours. That’s a long time to ride in a yellow school bus.

Drinks at Turkey Hill: $4.50
Smithsonian Entrance Fee: $0
Souvenirs from the Air & Space Gift Shop: $17.49
Lunch at the McDonald’s inside the Air & Space Museum: $21
Afternoon snack at the Dino Cafe inside the Natural History Museum: $19.80
Dinner at a random McDonald’s in Maryland: $10.76
Spending the day with my daughter and watching her get excited about science: Priceless


Saturday morning started with a trip to church to troubleshoot some issues we’ve been having with the sound system. After fooling around with it for a while, I finally got it working, at least to a usable state for Sunday morning.

In the afternoon, we headed to Tom’s house for a Memorial Day cookout, where we hung out with most of my department and watched dogs and children get soaked from head to toe in bubble juice. We followed that up with a trip to Lowe’s, a visit to the Art & Soul Cafe to listen to my friend Jeff Lease play guitar, and finally a brief soak in the hot tub.


We almost made it through the whole service without the sound system acting stupid, but not quite. Time to upgrade, I suppose.

After church, we went to Toys R Us so my daughter could pick out her birthday present (she chose Wii Music, which I’m looking forward to trying). Then we stopped at Rita’s to buy four quarts of Italian ice  to take over to my friend Tim’s house for our second Memorial Day cookout of the weekend. At Tim’s, we swam a bit but mostly just sat around chatting.


Obviously, it’s only Sunday, so I don’t have all the details yet, but Monday will be my daughter’s 10th birthday party. Well, tomorrow is the family party; her friend party is in a couple weeks (as soon as school gets out). So we’ll be having our extended family here for the afternoon and evening, which would be our third cookout of the weekend for those keeping score at home.

I also wouldn’t bet against a trip to Guitar Center in the morning. I’m just saying.


This weekend, we celebrated my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary. Traditionally, the 65th is the platinum anniversary. Five more years and they hit titanium. The 80th anniversary is, curiously enough, oak. Anyway, my wife took pictures.

Here are my grandparents with my mom.

Mom, Grandma, and Pop-Pop 

This one is my mom, my grandparents, my sister, and I. 

Grandma, Pop-Pop, Mom, Becky, and Brad 

And the great grandchildren (the two on the ends are mine):

Great Grandchildren

Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Pop-Pop! You are an inspiration to all of us!


Well, Friday night was an interesting night.

I arrived home from work to find my mother-in-law visiting my wife and kids. This in itself is nothing out of the ordinary; she visits quite often and is always welcome, especially when helping my wife with yardwork as she was this evening.

My wife informed that we were grabbing some pizza for dinner, which was fine by me. I informed my mother-in-law that she and my father-in-law were staying for dinner. My treat. She argued, but I insisted.

My father-in-law arrived shortly thereafter, and I soon went to the local pizza shop, taking my daughter along. When we got home, we found the house empty. This was odd. Very odd. They knew I was coming back with dinner.

I looked out the back window to see my wife and neighbors lined up at the fence that separates our backyard from the pasture behind our house. But I didn’t see my in-laws standing there. I went outside for a closer look, and that’s when I noticed that my father-in-law was out in the field. And my mother-in-law was lying on her back next to him, right on the ground.

I have to admit, this piqued my interest.

My wife looked at me and said, “She broke her ankle.”

This seemed like a hasty diagnosis for whatever had transpired, but whatever. I climbed over the fence and started running out to my in-laws, with the intention of helping my father-in-law carry her inside. No such luck. My wife stopped me and said they had tried. And when they did, my mother-in-law passed out from the pain.

The ambulance had already been called, so I went out to wait with them. When the ambulance arrived, I opened the gate so that it could get out into the field. At this point, I should mention the three horses and one pony that graze in the field.

At any rate, the horses and pony were distracted by carrots offered by my kids and neighbors, and my mother-in-law was safely loaded into the ambulance and taken away to the local hospital, where she was told that her left ankle was broken in three places. And to add insult to injury, her right ankle was sprained.

My daughter was upset for two reasons. First, she didn’t like seeing her Nana hurt. Second, she was supposed to sleep over at her house that night and was disappointed at the change in plans.

My son was upset for one reason only: he was jealous that he didn’t get to ride in the ambulance.

Pa. high school orders shot glasses as prom favors

I’m always so proud to be both (1) from Central Pennsylvania and (2) working in K12 education. From the local education news:

Pennsylvania high school ordered more than 450 shot glasses for its prom, a move the assistant principal now says sent the wrong message.

There’s failure… and then there’s epic failure.